Unilateral Training – Why You Should Get Yourself Some

I played 2 on 2 volleyball with my sister and niece and nephew on Saturday night, using a clothesline as an improvised net! My niece Madelina was my teammate. Madelina: Aunt Laura! I thought you were good! Me: That was 25 years ago! Don’t worry, I got my groove back after a couple of plays! What ‘groove’ I have left, that is. I left most of it back in the 80s. Did you know that if you play sports, you should do a lot of exercises that utilize unilateral movements? This is where you say, “No, Laura, I didn’t know that. Tell me more!” My pleasure.     What Are Unilateral Exercises? Unilateral exercises are movements that work one side of the body at a time, or movements that work the sides in significantly different ways. An example would be the single-leg squat. You might have both feet on the ground, yet in a single-leg squat you will place the majority of your weight, and hence the workload, on only one leg and use the other to assist only as needed for balance. We use unilateral movement constantly in our daily life and especially in sports. Working my legs in this way allowed me to move laterally to get behind the volleyball last night. You should’ve seen me. I was amazing. (I was so-so.) What are the Benefits? Balance, Joint Support & Core Work Unilateral exercises work the small stabilizer muscles that are forced to activate when the body is off balance. This is great news for building core strength that’s needed to work under movement and also resist...

15-Minute Full-Body HiiT Workout!

I’ve got a busy week so let’s get right to the point! This week’s Quickie Workout is a 15-minute full-body challenge! We start out with a single-leg side plank burpee – say whaaaaat? – then hiit legs with a front/back plyo lunge, take a mini-breather with time-under-tension bicep curls, then slam core with plank oblique knee tucks and a Pilates back extension variation! When we say full body, we mean it! 5 exercises, 3x each. Set your interval timers for 15 rounds of 50 seconds exercise, 10 seconds rest. Or if you’re feeling sassy, do the workout 4 or 5 times through! :::fist bump::: Equipment for this Quickie: Heavy Dumbbells, Sliders, Mat, Towel Oh, and don’t forget to stalk follow me on social media! That’s where the crazy fun happens! Google+ Facebook Pinterest Twitter  Instagram  Preview the exercises and learn proper form & modifications for this workout:   Now do the workout straight through in Real Time! With me! Yayyyyyy Woot!...

Rock This Workout!

We’re battening down the hatches, throwing wood on the fire, stocking up on food, doing 25 jumping jacks approximately every 3 minutes, and randomly screaming things like HOLYEFFINGSH*TBALLZISITCOLD in defense against – and reaction to – the wicked cold that has descended upon the Midwest. I’m not sure I’ve felt cold like this ever. And it makes me wonder about the sanity of those who live in northern regions. No seriously, what’s the matter with you people. I’m always cold, and I hate it. If I’m moving around I’m not too cold, but if I’m doing work at my computer, I can wear three layers, a scarf, and a blanket wrapped around me like a toga and still be cold. IT’S SO ANNOYING. But I’ve discovered two things that truly warm me to the core: a hot hot hot shower, and exercise. And that, my friends, is my motivation to keep up with my workouts even on days when it sounds more reasonable to burrow under down comforters and never come out. In fact, I just HiiT last week’s workout, In Your FACE, and topped it off with some specialized strength training sets (push-ups, front-weighted step-ups, push presses, and so on), and for the first time all day, I’m warm. I’m warm!  I’M WARM! I mean, I’m hot. RAWR. So I know you feel like holing up with a non-stop supply of carbs, but buck up little camper. It’s time to hiit this workout. No, wait – it’s time to ROCK this workout. Cuz that’s how we roll. For this week’s workout, you’ll need two light Sandbells, one heavy...

12 Days of Kicking Ass Workout Challenge – Day 11!

On the 11th day of Kicking Ass, Laura gave to me….. Hmmm, what to do, what to do. I mean, we’ve hiit legs. We’ve hiit arms. We’ve hiit abs, and we’ve hiit cardio. What else can we hiit? How about all of the above? Today’s challenge is a full-blown Quickie Workout! This one is called Crush and Burn! In this workout you’ll sculpt strong shoulders, burn fat, and cardio UP in challenging high-intensity intervals! Burpees, hellraisers, kneeling get-ups, and a jump lunge variation mean this workout is loaded with intensity! Lace up your sneakers, set your timers, take a few deep breaths, then get ready to Crush & Burn this HiiT workout! Learn the exercises – plus make-it-easier modifications – by watching the workout preview below. Then set your timers for 50 seconds work, 10 seconds rest, and do this quickie as many times through as you can!  Beginners – aim for at least 2 times through. Take breaks between rounds if needed. Intermediate level – you get 3 rounds for sure. Advanced – HiiT this one 3-5x through! Merry Christmas Eve to y’all, and come back tomorrow for our big hurrah final workout challenge! For this workout, you’ll need paper plates as sliders, light sandbells or weights, and a mat.   Related Posts: Day 1 – EMOTM Challenge Day 2 – Legs on FIYAH! Day 3 – 8-Minute Abs Day 4 – Jumping Rope! Daaaayyyyy Fiiiiiiiiiiive – Stairs & Squats! Or Stairs & Burpees! Day 6 – Push-Ups, Push-Up, and more Push-Ups! Day 7 – Wall Sit Challenge, Bitches!  Day 8 – 3 exercises, 1-minute AMRAP each Day 9 – 3 rounds of 1-minute AMRAP knee tuck...

12 Days of Kicking Ass Workout Challenge – Day 10!

Only 3 workout challenges to go! Only 3! Just 3! 3! So remember? That one time? When a bunch of fitness professionals shared their #1 favorite exercises?  That..  that was awesome. (Name that SNL skit.) And today, we’re gonna DO their favorite exercises! Surprisingly, none of them chose the same exercise! So we can make a super-awesome Quickie Workout out of their favorites! You’re going to do 10 reps of each of the 5 exercises, and repeat that for 2-5 rounds. If you do five rounds, that makes this a 250 reps challenge! You can do them in any order you want. I will recap the 5 exercises for you, then share how I would order them. Neila Rey, popular Google+ personality, chose the push-up.   To make push-ups harder, you can place your hands on dumbbells and add a row after each one! To make them easier, you can do them on your knees, or with your hands elevated on a step, chair, or even the counter top! Jeff Oriente, another Google+ rising star, chose the squat. Revisit the original post for detailed instructions on proper squat form. To make this harder, you can hold dumbbells at shoulder level, or a barbell on your back! Next, Justin Glenn shared his favorite exercise, the dead lift. To do a proper dead lift, bend your knees, sit your weight back, and place your hands about shoulder width apart on a barbell (or dumbbells) that is right in front of your shins. Press your feet into the floor to lift the bar and stand, keeping your chin and chest lifted. Do...